(CNN) – According to one study, chronic fatigue syndrome, which causes extreme fatigue, may be triggered by an overactive immune system.
British researchers have found that an exaggerated immune response can cause long-term fatigue, suggesting that the condition begins, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or MS.
Research published on Monday is the first to reveal the role of the illumination immune system in the development of the disease, a multidisciplinary illness that is scarcely known, according to leading researcher Carmine Pariante, professor of biological psychiatry at King's College of London.
Limited data so far have received a treatment challenge.
Pariante explained that in many cases, chronic fatigue, patients experience an infection such as very bad cold or other viral infection in the early stages of the disease.
"We had this information for some time, but we did not know what happened in the body of these patients," he said.
According to British Action ME, about 250,000 people in the UK and 17 million people around the world suffer from chronic fatigue. Approximately 836,000 – 2.5 million Americans are struggling to syndrome according to United States Centers for Prevention and Prevention. (CDC, abbreviated as English).
When trying to get more information about the team modeled on a possible route fitness level is based on chronic hepatitis C infections, called interferon alfa, as it is known that treatment causes persistent fatigue in some people.
The study finds that interferon alpha affects the immune system in the same way as a strong infection.
The researchers measured fatigue and immune function in 55 patients who received hepatitis C therapy with interferon alfa.
Patients were monitored during, during and after hepatitis C treatment. Of the 18 patients, approximately one third, developed a lasting fatigue defined as fatigue lasting more than six months after treatment.
The group with long-lasting fatigue also had a higher immune response, as demonstrated by doubling the levels of transmission molecules of interleukin-10 and interleukin-6 immune system.
Immunoassays were measured by a blood test during the study.
The team also found higher levels of these molecules in these patients before starting treatment.
"This information strongly suggests that people who develop chronic fatigue syndrome in response to an infection do so because their immune system is ready to react in an overactive manner," explained Pariante.
It is not clear why a person's immune system might be ready to react hyperactive, but genetics can be a potential cause, he added.